The Madras High Court on Monday directed the State and the Central governments to consider a plea to vaccinate on priority basis students aspiring to go abroad for studies.
"With several countries now opening up and allowing international travellers from India, this aspect of the matter gains even more significance," the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.
The Bench was passing further orders on the issue it had taken up on its own last month on the basis of newspaper reports, which had alleged shortage of beds, vaccines and ventilators and diversion of oxygen to other States.
For students who wish to study abroad and for those on short visits or others who need to undertake international travel, both the State and the Centre should consider vaccinating them on a priority basis and put in place some norms for it, the court said.
On Monday, the centre clarified that students and those travelling abroad for jobs or as part of the Indian contingent of Tokyo Olympics can take the second dose of Covishield in 28 days.
According to the health ministryâ€™s statement, the facility will be available to those who need to undertake international travel for the above mentioned purposes till August 31 this year and the mention of the vaccine type as Covishield is enough.
The States and Union Territories can appoint an authority in each district for such administration of second dose of Covishield. For those going abroad, the CoWin certificate will be linked to their passports.
Currently the schedule to take second dose of Covishield vaccine after first dose is between 12-16 weeks interval, as per the recommendations of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Recommendation.
The Union government also said that the CoWin portal will provide the facility soon for such cases where vaccine has to be administered sooner.